Saturday, January 24, 2009

Race #16 – Isaac Dickson Hot Chocolate 10k – Asheville NC – 01/24/09

After 15 races in 15 weeks we went on hiatus over the winter and missed about 5 consecutive weeks. So now the road racing season seems to be getting started again and I’m pumped. Having begun running this past September, I haven’t really experienced running in warm weather and I’m looking forward to it.
The Hot Chocolate 10k didn’t provide a lot of warm weather but there was hot chocolate and coffee at the end of the race, and the temperature in the low 40s at race time was actually a little warmer than normal, I believe, for an Asheville morning in January.
This was my very first 10k race and I was hoping to finish in 55 to 60 minutes so I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to crack 50 minutes and finish at 49:38 (yay!). I didn’t place but was 7th of 20 in my age group (55-59) and 132nd overall out of 630 runners, so I’m happy with that.
The race is promoted as “Asheville’s Flattest 10k,” which might not be saying much since Asheville is in the middle of the mountains and the race started out on Hill Street. I was a little worried that the course was an out-and-back and the steep half-mile downhill that we started with would have to be climbed when we returned, and I hear that’s how it was in the past. This time around though, they changed the course so that the return trip was only about half the climb (if that much) and I was amazed to see the finish line being so near at the end as we came back up the hill. You can see from the graphic the steep drop at the beginning then the uphill climb at the end. It was pretty flat as advertised throughout the rest of the race and the turn-around point running through about a quarter mile winding trail through a park along the river was great.
There was also a 1k hill climb for the kiddos, who all received a nice medal for finishing the race, and there was live entertainment provided by Kevin Scanlon, a folk musician. The race was also part of two racing series, the Asheville Track Club Grand Prix and the Blue Ridge Cup.
Hey, look at me… I made the photo gallery in the Asheville Citizen-Times newspaper. That’s me on the right (#275).
I pre-registered (I’m over that recent rant about not pre-registering) but not in time to get a T-shirt, and it was a nice one… guess I need to register sooner for races if I’m pretty sure I’ll be there. The school auditorium provided some warmth while waiting for the race to start (and for the families of racers during the race) and the results were posted immediately after the race, and were even on the website that afternoon. The food was kind of so-so and the line was long to get to it, but overall it was a great race that was well organized.
Race Rating:
6 – 4/6 Number of Participants (4 for less than 100; 6 for 100 or more)
7 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, stating winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
5 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10 T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
6 – 4/6 Part of Race Series (Grand Prix, etc.) (6=Yes and 4=No)
6 – 4/6 Online Registration (6=Yes and 4=No)
6 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No)
7 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
8 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
5 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
8 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
7 – 3/7 Age Groups (7 if 5-year groups; 3 if 10-year groups)
8 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
2 – 1-10 Other (2 extra points for being part of 2 racing series.)
TOTAL – 95